A viewer is suing NBC for $2.5 million, contending that he threw up because of a “Fear Factor” episode in which contestants ate rats mixed in a blender.
Austin Aitken said he had no problem with past installments where the reality show’s participants ate worms and insects in pursuit of a $50,000 prize, but that eating rats went “too far.”
His handwritten lawsuit contends the rat eating made his blood pressure rise, resulting in dizziness and vomiting. Because he was disoriented he ran into a doorway, he said, “causing suffering, injury and great pain.”
Said NBC: “We believe that the claim is completely without merit.”
Aitken, a 49-year-old part-time paralegal, said he simply wants to send a message to NBC and other networks with the lawsuit.
“I just put any figure,” he said. “You really think I expect to get $2.5 million?”
MTV keeping it ‘Real’
Just weeks after MTV announced that its venerable “Real World” franchise will shoot its 16th season in Austin, Texas, the cable network and Bunim-Murray Productions have reached an agreement for at least five more seasons of the reality show.
The deal also tosses in at least two more seasons of “The Real World/Road Rules Challenge.”
The “Real World” formula of putting seven photogenic youngsters in a house, providing them with alcohol and hot tubs, and occasionally making them work remains wildly popular. The show’s latest season, shot in Philadelphia, regularly wins its cable time period in the 12-to-34 demographic MTV craves.
The Austin season is expected to premiere in June.
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